Marguerite Yourcenar was the pseudonym of French novelist, Marguerite de Crayencour (June 8, 1903 - December 17, 1987).
She was born in Brussels, Belgium, and educated privately to a prodigious standard. She was reading Racine and Aristophanes by the age of eight and her father taught her Latin at ten, and Greek at twelve.
Her first novel Alexis was published in 1929. Her friend, the translator Grace Frick invited her to America, where she lectured in comparative literature in New York City. In [ she published, in France, the French-language novel Mémoires d'Hadrien (Memoirs of Hadrian), which she had been writing with pauses for a decade. The novel was an immediate success and met with great critical acclaim. In this novel Yourcenar recreated the life and death of one of the great rulers of the ancient world, the Roman Emperor Hadrian, who writes a long letter to Marcus Aurelius, his successor and adoptive son. The Emperor meditates on his past, describes his triumphs and love to Antinous, his philosophy. This novel has become a modern classic.
Yourcenar was elected as the first woman to the Academie Française, has become one of the respected writers in French language, she published many novels, essays, poetry, three volumes of memoirs.
Alexis ou le Traité du Vain Combat (1929)
La Nouvelle Eurydice (1931)
Feux (1936) (prose poem)
Le Coup de Grâce (1939)
Mémoires d'Hadrien (1951)
L'Oeuvre au Noir (1968) (Prix Femina 1968)
Souvenirs Pieux (1974) (autobiography)
Archives du Nord (1977)